Tuesday, May 4, 2010

"It has to be the Altitude!"

Well, after 41 years, I have left Sunny California and have now entered Utah! Bob transferred with his job at Watson to Salt Lake City in January and me and the kids moved in March after selling our home, of 15 years, in Ontario. We are now residing in Layton and are settling in. We love our ward and have met some very nice neighbors.

When you think of Utah vs California what is the first thing that comes to mind? Well, for me it was less crime. Within our first 2 weeks here, B's car was broken into (it took 13 years in Ontario for that to happen). The upside was, the crooks who broke into B's car were nice enough to not cause any damage. They just unlocked the driver door, popped the trunk and took his laptop and Garmin. Then, about 2 days later, we woke up Sunday morning and found that our neighbor's wall was covered with grafitti. True, all true! When I woke up Sunday morning to see the grafitti on the wall my first thought was...."everyone will think it was one of our kids since we are the new ones on the block from California!"

The grafitti, took a little more effort for us to remove. After numerous attempts from B and our neighbor, the EQP and other EQ members, B finally found some "grafitti remover" for concrete and that did the trick.

We had a wonderful neighborhood in California and we all were concerned about and helped one another. But it wasn't quite like what I have witnessed here. My brother calls it "The Bubble" and on this occasion, I have to agree with him.

We are really happy here and feel that this is a Great move for us and our family.

C has started school and loves her teacher and all of the "neat" things she is learning. She was so excited to actually have an Art class. The new adventure is that she takes the bus to school every day.

R is wishing, every day, that he could go to school. We did our Kindergarten Open House walk-through and he is extremely excited to start school. He will get to ride the bus also and thinks that is "way cool!"

D is working with one of our very creative neighbors and is learning wall painting techniques. She is enjoying the work and independence with "Skuttle." She will also be starting a second job in the upcoming week. We are very excited for her.

B is still in California finishing her senior year. She is extremely busy with school, Play practice, Swim practice and AP exam study group. We have wonderful friends who have adopted her and she is fitting in very well. We will be seeing her in May for graduation and then she will be ours again!!! YAY!

I am getting used to the Altitude! I felt like I was having a heart attack every time I started walking up and down the stairs. Yes, it is the altitude.....I'm not out of shape, I am a shape...."round". It is fun setting up my new home and figuring out where to put everything. We have lots of storage, and an extra bedroom so you are all welcome to visit anytime.

B is enjoying his work and is getting used to having a YARD to mow at home. The first weekend without snow, B decided to mow the lawn. It took........ ALL DAY! Granted, he had some glitches with his lawn mower but it still took a very, very long time. Now I get to do more of my most favorite task, yard work.....NOT! It is pretty but I will need to learn to love yard work with our new yard.

Here are some pics of the house to date.






Come and visit us! We would love to see you. I will try and get some more pictures posted when I get more accomplished. Hope to see you soon!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Awesome August!

Well, August has been quite awesome for our family. We temporarily adopted two German exchange students for the month. Our new daughters, Amelie and Lena, were a wonderful addition to our family. We were very lucky to have such nice girls stay with us. They were sweet, kind and very fun. They fit in fabulously with our family. Lena played Wii with Caeley and Ryan and even seemed to enjoy Karaoke too! She watched Jane Austen movies with me and loved to read. Amelie was very fun too! Ryan treated her just like his other sisters. She would read to him and she spent quite a bit of time taking pictures of him and Caeley on her computer then making funny stretchy faces. Of course, Ryan would never want to stop and she was very kind to assure him they would do it again. She seemed to love the pool and even played Ryan's game of "Marco Polo" and "Colors".

Amelie and Lena were here to learn the "American Culture" and work on their english. I never knew that Americans actually had a "culture" but I guess America is different than other countries. The girls got to see the usual tourist places like Disneyland, Universal Studios, Magic Mountain, Downtown L.A., Hollywood, Beverly Hills and the Ocean. They really seemed to enjoy the ocean. We had plenty of really, really warm weather for them and they seemed to just soak it up. The girls enjoyed all of the food that they ate and they seemed to really like my homemade "egg Mcmuffins" and breakfast burritos. I laughed at how much they also liked cold cereal and seemed to enjoy mixing Captain Crunch and any other cereal I had in the cupboard.

We went to Sams Club (they were shocked at how MUCH there was), the Drive-in Theatre, Huntington Beach, and Bob took them to Universal City Walk, Hard Rock Cafe - for Amelie to add to her Hard Rock shirt collection, Ed Hardy for Lena and Mulholland Drive so that they could take pictures in front of the Hollywood sign.

It was an enjoyable 4 weeks with them. We enjoyed eating the "Haribo" and Chocolate that they brought to us. I even tried to make something out of the cookbook that Amelie gave me, "cucumber salad." They also gave us some wonderful books showing pictures of where they live and what the country and industry is like. After seeing those pictures, I wondered why would they ever want to come to California during the summer when it is HOT, brown and dry! In spite of all of that, they loved being here and we loved having them with us. Now we need to save pennies to go to Germany some day. It was a great experience and we have two wonderful new friends that we will remember forever. Thank you Amelie and Lena for staying with us and letting us get to know you.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Where did July go?

Hope everyone had a wonderful July 4th weekend. We did! We started our day by attending our City's Independence Day Parade. It was fun to see friends and neighbors there. The Parade has become a tradition over the years. It is so nice to see people dressed in red, white, and blue, waving flags, wearing patriotic hats and just enjoying themselves. It reminds me so much of driving through little towns in New York and seeing flags and buntings on every home. It truly is a wonderful way to get into the Spirit of Celebrating our Country's Independence. That evening, we went to Claremont to watch some great fireworks with our friends. It was a really nice way to end the day.

We later took a roadtrip to Utah to visit family, take a tour of Utah State University and attend EFY. It was a very relaxing and fun two weeks. It is always a treat to go to Grandma and Grandpa's house. This year, they had visiting chickens and R had a great time watching them. D actually caught a couple and let the little kids pet it. I think that is the first time R has seen chickens in real life.

We went to Idaho Falls one day and saw the "Titanic" exhibit (thank you Callie for posting that on your blog) . It was really good and R can't stop talking about the Iceberg that he touched. He has gotten a little more creative in his storytelling and has now started to tell, anyone who will listen, that his mom and dad were on the Titanic and "they were in the water that was really cold but they didn't die. They are here see! " The kids had fun in the discovery room where they dressed up like pioneers and crawled around through caves and climbed mountains! They had a lot of fun. Even my little niece joined in on the dress up fun. We did take pictures outside of the museum. By that time R was a little spent and began to pout. He had a very observant cousin and she decided that she was not going to let him pout alone so she was his one and only supporter in his pouting protest!

We made a stop at the Idaho Falls temple. In the visitors Center, there is a Christus that is made of fiberglass. We were told that President Hinckley wanted it made so that the children to could touch the Savior and be easy to clean. When we walked in, A immediately ran over saying "my Jesus, my Jesus". R touched his hands and wanted to know why his hands and feet were hurt. The littlest A just sat there on her mom's lap and looked at the Savior almost the entire time until she let us know it was time to eat. I think I had a better understanding of how the scriptures tell us to "become like little children." Wouldn't life be a little simpler if we could all be as satisfied, as humble, and loveable as these little children are.

After the Temple, Kristen took us to a great ice cream spot. It is a dairy farm with a store in front (sorry I can't remember the name right now). The ice cream is made there from the cows on the farm. I would definitely recommend the Huckleberry ice cream. Delicious!!!! There is also a drive through where you can also get fresh milk or have it delivered to your home.
This was a wonderful way to end our day. We had so much fun. Thanks Kristen, A, Melanie and little A for spending the day with us. We look forward to seeing you again sometime soon!
We had a blast fishing! Grandpa and Grandma's friends, the Chatterton's, took us to their daughter's pond. Brother Chatterton was a trooper and saved the day when he caught a fish and was actually able to reel it in. R was excited to fish but when it came to actually touching the fish.... well, he said, "I'm too shy." We'll have to keep trying and maybe one day he'll actually touch the fish. R and grandpa caught a fish but it got away. No, it really did! In the end, R thought that it was time to use his "gummy worms" to catch a fish. So grandpa took a piece of a gummy worm and put it on our hook. It worked! It actually worked! we caught another fish... but the line broke and it too got away. A tip for any of you fishermen who can't seem to catch a fish, use gummy worms!

The Chatterton's grandson, Tyson, took R and C for a ride on his horse. They loved it! He was a real trooper to just pitch in and get the kids on the horse. It was a real treat for them.

It was another HIT for EFY this year. B and cousin T as well as our friend A attended EFY in Logan. They did not want the week to end. The girls had some wonderful experiences and met a lot of new friends. It was very nice to hear about their day every evening over ice cream sandwiches. There is nothing like ice cream sandwiches to induce storytelling from teenagers. A tip for parents, just put out some food, sit down and watch them eat. Soon you'll be learning a lot about your kids. They had a wonderful experience and can't wait to go next year. I am so glad that they have this opportunity. It was the highlight of the summer for them.

It is always fun to go to grandma & grandpa's house. I just didn't want to leave. It was beautiful and there was plenty to do and EAT! The kids really enjoyed themselves. Even as we were driving through Victorville, we still wanted to turn around and go back. Alas, we trudged forward. We made it home and had new adventures awaiting us there. We had some new guests to meet and a house to prepare for their arrival. So, tune in to the next blog to find out how the month of August is going.
Where did your month go?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Last Week's Activities

Well, last week we had some fun activities going on. I needed to find some ways to keep the kids occupied while B was off at Girl's Camp. Here are a couple of our excursions!

We went to the Queen Mary and watched C perform for the last time of the school year with her Egyptian Dance group. Her 4th grade teacher, Ms. Sabet, has been teaching the girls after school and C has really loved being involved.

Webb School Paleontology Museum in Claremont

Posing in front of a REAL Dinosaur. Alexis isn't too fond of it though!

Look out!! You might become LUNCH!!!

A Giant Alligator Skull... "So Cool!"

Digging for fossils

Alexis & R really liked this one. C & Becky were trying to determine which sound was "friendly" or "fierce."

We had lots of fun and plan to go again before summer is out. R just loves to learn about Dinosaurs and "holcanos" (volcanos). Maybe he'll be a scientist when he grows up!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day Dad! I hope that you had a wonderful day. Today during sacrament meeting we had two really good speakers. While they were talking about their fathers, I was able to think about some of the things I remembered about you while growing up.

Contrary to what mom says, "you kids only remember the bad things," I don't remember the bad things. I remember our trips to Palm Springs and swimming in the pool with you throwing me up in the air and landing in the deep end. I remember how fun it was to have "room service" bring us breakfast on our last day there. I remember driving to Idaho and stopping over in St. George (when it was just a little town with nothing more than a few shops and the temple) and you taking a nap in the middle of the night on the temple lawn. I remember family reunions and us kids trying to tape you and Uncle Philip & Uncle Keith snoring to see who was actually the loudest snorer. Amzaingly, we you all stopped snoring as soon as we got into the room to tape you. Guess what, I married a man who snores as loud if not louder than you!

I remember you coming to my Freshman Home Economics "Brunch" and eating what we had prepared. I loved cooking and having you eat the food I had prepared. You always told me it was delicious!

I remember all of the nights I would come home from Baker's Square and you would come into my room and count my tips with me. I had more fun doing that and listening to you tell me how I should put so much into my jar of spending and how much I should save. I'm pretty sure that is why I love putting money into my savings account today. Every time I go to the bank I have flash backs of counting my tips with you.

I remember how you always were able to fix things for us. If I had a school project, I could go to your workshop and find something to use. Like when I had to do a mission project and I used scrap pieces of wood to make a fence, saw dust for the ground and your soldering tool to make little metal balls that I put into tiny baskets.

I remember watching you make things and paint the house and how you were always such a perfectionist. How everything always looked so nice, and PERFECT! This has been somewhat of a downfall though, because you have set a standard for my husband that he was never even aware of!!!! ha ha ha

I remember you coming to my aid in High School with Mr. Petralia. I was so glad that you didn't completely take his side and that you were willing to show up and support me.

There are many other things but what I love the most about you dad is the fact that you always know what to tell me to make me feel better. Specifically with my last pregnancy and we were worried about Ryan and what the doctors had told us. You quoted a scripture about faith to me. You also told me that all would be okay and that you and mom were praying for me, the baby and our family. You had faith when I did not. You were strong when I was weak. You have always showed me that you love me no matter what and I love that you love my family as well. You said that Ryan would be "perfect" and he is just that.

Thank you for being such a wonderful father and dad. I love you very much! Happy Father's Day DAD!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Please don't touch the Pinkle!!!!!

Well, the moment has finally arrived! I have become one of those mothers who looks at their little boy and says..."please don't touch the pinkle". I am just dumbfounded with the whole thing of why little boys have to touch their "pinkle" as we call it. It's not going anywhere, it certainly won't fall off, however, I do tell him that from time to time when I become really irritated with the behavior. So can anyone explain to me why,Why, WHY, does he have to touch his "pinkle"? I just don't understand.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

What a wonderful day I had today. No breakfast in bed but I did get to watch my girls put together the Ham and Au Gratin Potato dinner together. D handled the rolls and they were delicious! It was wonderful hearing my two younger children sing with the Primary. R kept waving from the stand to me and others in the congregation! C was very good at singing the songs. I got a little teary as they sang "I Often Go Walking." There is something about that song that gets me every time.

Today I was able to reflect on what I had learned from my mother. I know she sometimes thinks that we only remember the bad things. When in all actuality, we really remember the good things. Just a few are cookies, homemade bread, always having her there when we came home from school and when we were sick, laying on the couch watching "The Price is Right" which she still watches to this day!

I guess it takes getting older and having kids of your own to really make you appreciate your mother. I love my mother and I am so grateful for all that she has done and continues to do for me. Happy Mother's Day Mom!